- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The names of 20,000 would-be sexual predators have been passed on to police after a Dutch children’s charity set up a fake profile posing as a 10-year-old Filipina girl.

Terre des Hommes carried out a 10-week sting operation posing on video chat rooms as 10-year-old “Sweetie,” collecting the names of some 20,000 men, including 1,000 who offered to pay for sex acts performed online, BBC reported.

Of the 1,000 men who were willing to pay Sweetie to undress on camera, 254 were from the U.S., 110 from the U.K. and 103 from India, the report said.

Project director Hans Guyt told a news conference on Monday that the charity has handed its findings over to police.

European policing agency Europol has expressed reservations about the project.

“We believe that criminal investigations using intrusive surveillance measures should be the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies,” spokesman Soren Pedersen told Reuters.

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Andy Baker, of the UK’s National Crime Agency, agreed that nabbing predators is best left to law enforcement, but added that the project “widened awareness of a global child sex abuse threat,” BBC reported.

“Working with our international law enforcement partners, we will now look at the information being passed on by Terre des Hommes,” he said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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